NOTTINGHAM, UK, October 30th, 2006 - Oddworld Inhabitants' co-founders, Lorne Lanning and Sherry McKenna, have teamed with John Williams' Vanguard Animation to develop CITIZEN SIEGE, an original CG animated feature, it was announced by Lanning at the GameCity festival. Lanning will direct and Williams will produce the politically edgy sci-fi action thriller. McKenna will executive produce with Vanguard execs Terry Botwick and Margaret French Isaac.
In CITIZEN SIEGE, Lanning and McKenna are creating a new universe where current global conditions are extrapolated into a frightening near future where democracy has all but disintegrated under the rule of global corporatism. Well-known for their heartfelt characters and socially relevant storylines, Oddworld intends to raise the intensity level as their latest hero, an ex-patriot, finds himself ensnared in a nightmarish credit racket that leaves him "repossessed."
"We're thrilled to be in partnership with John Williams and the wonderful folks at Vanguard to birth our latest universe," said McKenna. "Their expertise, experience, and passionate vision for where the animated film market is headed enables CITIZEN SIEGE the support necessary to deliver the next generation of animated experience that mature audiences are ready for. "
Williams added, "'Abe's Odyssey' was a genre busting original game and was the first one I fell in love with. CITIZEN SIEGE promises to be an action thriller that, like other great science fiction stories, also has incredible poignancy to the universal issues of our time. Lorne and Sherry are highly revered as founding masters of CG animation and we think CITIZEN SIEGE is perfectly suited to be a break out action adventure."
CITIZEN SIEGE will mark Lanning's first directing foray into feature animation. His announcement comes after a year of silence from Oddworld, when it last announced the company would be redirecting energies away from internal video game development and would hence forth be focused on a broader palette of digital storytelling that would include animated feature films.
Vanguard's success with animated features dates back to the SHREK franchise, which Williams optioned, developed and produced at Dreamworks. SHREK was the first Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature in 2001, and its Academy Award nominated sequel, SHREK 2, grossed over $900 million worldwide at the box office. Their first CG animated feature, VALIANT, was released in 2005. Vanguard also retains an active live-action slate of projects in various stages of development.
Lanning and McKenna are represented by CAA.
Formed in 1994 by special effects and computer animation veterans Sherry McKenna and Lorne Lanning, Oddworld is dedicated to creating the next generation of intellectual property and digital entertainment. Beginning with its debut products, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee and Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, Oddworld mixed a potent brew of Hollywood artistry with rock solid storytelling to produce experiences rich in emotionality, empathy and entertainment value. Oddworld has sold over five million games and won more than 100 industry awards.
Vanguard Animation is a film production and intellectual property development company formed in 2002 primarily focused on the computer generated animation feature film segment. Vanguard is primarily a creative company: a producer of the kind of storytelling that can only be done in CG animation and targeted to the widest possible family audience. Their current animation slate includes HAPPILY NEVER AFTER for Lions Gate Films, featuring the voices of Sigourney Weaver and Sarah Michelle Gellar, SPACE CHIMPS at 20th Century Fox, and RIBBIT, to be directed by John Rice for MGM.
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